Chasing Hurricane Gustav - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/8/08

Chasing Hurricane Gustav

Last Monday Hurricane Gustav made landfall in the United States, targeting the coast of Louisiana, by Wednesday it was a tropical depression.

Despite the clear dangers, NewsChannel 11 Stormchaser David Drummond went straight for Hurricane Gustav last week.  While he was there he kept a diary. "Hello everybody, my name is David Drummond and I am riding with Steve Miller in Texas and we are on our way to intercept Hurricane Gustav," said Drummond.

David Drummond and Steve Miller packed their van with enough supplies for a week and prepared themselves to head south.  "Here we are in Merlin, Texas in the heart of this great state filling up our reserve tanks before we head down to Louisiana this may be our last chance to get gas at $3.59 a gallon," said Miller.

Most people on the Louisiana coast were heading north, but not these guys. "We are here right along the center path of Hurricane Gustav.  We are now less than 24 hours out, we're probably looking at 12 hours from maximum sustained winds.  Right now the forecast is 90 miles per hour sustained with higher gusts so we are going to be partying here before too long," said Miller.  

Making sure they had enough gas for the trip was an essential.  After long days of traveling they finally made it. "Welcome to Gustav 2008 we are down here approaching the eye wall as it is coming up here and we're going to have a little fun with it," said Miller. 

"Mostly just worried about the wind and debris at this point, so we are going to sit out here and see what happens," said Drummond.    

While getting footage of hurricane Gustav, high winds picked up rocks and blew out two of their van windows.  "Yeah it was a lot of fun trying to get that plastic on (the car) with all of the winds, but we have pretty good shelter here so it's worked out pretty good.  As you can tell it has lightened up considerably now.  What there is of the eye is not very well formed anymore," said Drummond. 

After three days of hurricane hunting and no sleep the guys are exhausted.  "Hello everybody, it's David again I'm here to give you the final round up of chasing Hurricane Gustav.  We are worn out big time.  It's been a long day," said Drummond. 

"Would I do it again probably but I don't think I would be quite as gun-ho as this time," said Miller.   

Drummond says the hurricane was not as severe as predicted. "It didn't turn out to be as strong as we expected fortunately for the people living down there, didn't really see any terribly significant damage just the generic stuff we would expect, power lines down and not that many of those, a lot of tree damage," said Drummond. 

"I'll probably do it again one of these days but lesson learned, I'd do it a bit different and learn to park next to a shelter building," said Miller. 

With hurricane Ike expected to hit Texas on Saturday, NewsChannel 11 will keep you posted if Drummond and Miller decide to head back into the eye of the hurricane.

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